Thursday, November 10, 2016

Doubt Unimaginable You?

Here is the birth story of Surya (dropping Scott now considering she is a she after all). More e.e. cummings.

The lead-up

Thursday 9/22- At 39 weeks 6 days I had an appointment with a new midwife. Not unlike with kins, circumstances took the midwife from me just before delivery. I was not too upset, knowing it happened last time and everything worked out just fine. Sometimes (rarely) I'm easy-going. I met the new midwife who is much more "stereotypically" midwife to me. She is hands off interms of interventions and though my midwife was willing to induce at 39 weeks- this one wanted to wait as long as I was physically and mentally prepared to. We started with an ultrasound- my fluid was the low end of normal and baby was sluggish at the beginning of the appointment. She perked up at the end- but I thought for sure it was baby day. I was prepared. Kins was at my parents house, we had all the bags in the car, the camera was charged. We even were early for the appointment! Hub said "no way it will be today" when we got a good (maternity reserved) parking spot in the garage. After the ultrasound, we went into the midwife, she checked me- I was at a 2 she also swept my membranes- ouch! Given the low-ish fluid and my irregular contractions we made a plan to come in for another ultrasound and appointment the next morning. No baby- boo. I took a "last picture as an only child" picture with kins.. and over the next several days, many more.

Friday 9/23 Due Date! I thought for sure we would induce today. All the perfect set up from the day before was much less perfect this day. Our packed bags were rummaged through the night before for various things, so stuff was in my purse or hub's pockets rather than neatly away. We were running late and our parking spot was terrible. We did the ultrasound... And the doctor said my fluid was perfect. The baby performed enough for the doc to proclaim everything perfect in about 2 minutes. A far cry from the day before when I was on the table for at least an hour. I knew then I would not have a due date baby. At the appointment with new midwife, she focused on my mental health. If I was comfortable waiting and not too anxious (everyone knows my history) we would wait. I agreed to wait the weekend and she did another membrane sweep. I was now 2.5. She said she really didn't think I would make it throughout the weekend. Famous last words. Appointment made for Tuesday 9/27 "because if I don't make the appointment you'll need it, but I really don't then you'll still be pregnant Tuesday!" (Appointment wasn't Monday because she is off Mondays)

due date!

Monday 9/26 Watch first presidential debate. Still pregnant. Somehow this doesn't put me into labor. I did vomit up my ENTIRE dinner (surprise!). We had gone to Friday's and I got the sizzlen' chicken and cheese. Not gourmet, but very tasty. Our last meal out as a family of three!

Induction day! 

Tuesday 9/27 When we left the house this morning I told hub that when I came home next it would be with a baby. I was DONE. So uncomfortable, with my anxiety ramping up. I hadn't been able to fall asleep until 330 the night before due to the endless pain in my hip (and debate related nausea, let's be honest). Up at 7 for an 8:15 appointment. Left my kins with my parents:

No ultrasound, just an appointment and a plan to do an NST if I was considering staying pregnant. I wasn't. Final weight was 174.1... 3 ounces less than my starting weight. Insane. 
The midwife was shocked that I was still pregnant and apologized for her assurance that I would have a baby before the weekend was over. She did another cervical check and I was at a 3. Slow progress. I formally asked for an induction. She got me checked in while we grabbed some dunkin donuts tea and bagels. We had to wait outside the store for a few minutes since it was still before 9 am - their opening time. 
We made it into our room about 10. Here is my last bump picture!

I work with a woman whose sister is a nurse on the L and D floor and she was on duty this morning. She came in to meet me and we chatted about her sister, what we do for work and our neighborhood (we happen to live in the same community). It was nice to have a connection to someone especially because unlike with kins, my parents couldn't come up right away- my dad had kins and my mom was working :(. After getting the IV in and the paperwork signed, Hub and I played some yatzee on my phone and ate our breakfast while we waited for the fetal monitoring to be completed so I could start the meds! Since I had been documented as breech late in pregnancy, they had to do a ultrasound before administering any medications. The doctor who did the portable ultrasound was about 24 I think. When did I get so old?! Baby was behaved and head down. 

I had to be on antibiotics before they would start the induction because I am GBS+. We needed 2 doses 3 hours apart and they started the first round about 11. I HATED it. I can't take penicillin, so they put me on something else. After just a few minutes I had a horrible taste in my mouth. Like licking dirty money after drinking coffee. Yuck. It was ok when I was still able to eat and drink, but eventually I got nauseous and didn't want to anymore. Around 4 they got the misoprostal administered and I started having irregular contractions. They came in and checked me after a few hours and I was still a 3. This was VERY disappointing. I was encouraged to walk the halls and did so for about an hour. Then I had them bring in a ball for me bounce on. Finally, around 7 my parents were able to come for a visit- and they brought kins!!  

At about the same time my sister and brother in law arrived for a visit. Eventually, my in-laws came we all visited together. To be honest, I was getting uncomfortable and cranky. I probably wasn't the nicest person to be around in that hour or two. There was a nursing change around 8. Nurse D came in and wanted to get things moving overnight. We decided rather than doing more misoprostal, we would jump right to piton. We made the decision to ramp up slowly, 2 units per 15 minutes until contractions were regular and strong, then we would let things simmer until the morning and do a cervical check before really ramping up. Before starting that process, I got an epidural. This sent the family home, except mom and hub who were there for the duration. They decided to get some food just before 10, while I was waiting for the Epi. They asked for recommendations from the nurses and decided on pizza. Hub left to go pick it up and while out they came in to administered the epi. Nurse D hung around and set up the room while hub was out. We chatted a bit about her experience and background and what I wanted in the birth experience (healthy mom, healthy baby).

The anesthesiologist was really nice. He was kind of a goof ball, hub said that he reminded him of Crush from Finding Nemo. Like if he wasn't a doctor, he'd be surfing in California. He and the nurse (Darleen who was an awesome hippy type) got me into position and talked me through the procedure. When I had kins the contractions were so, so strong that I didn't actually think about the OMG Needle Being Threaded Through My Back.. but this time, I totally was. My blood pressure and heart rate started to spike (I could see my vitals on the machine), so they tried to get me talking. Of all things I started talking about work (of course I did). I told them about our approval and our kids and how much I love the science of what I do. Wouldn't you know it, Dr Crush worked for a pharma company and did some pretty amazing work himself. Hub walked into the room (with his takeout pizza) at this point, me bent over a pile of pillows with who knows what happening in my back chatting about work. He started laughing and giving me the "Only you" speech. Dr Crush let him stay. The epi was otherwise uneventful, at one point there was a terrible taste in my mouth and my head felt funny, but they fixed that quickly. I did get VERY itchy until after delivery and it was removed, which was a real downer since it was the middle of the night.

This epi experience was very different from the one I had with Kins. I felt nothing with him, not one thing. This was more of a "take the edge off" experience. I could feel some of the contractions, though they didn't hurt, and I could feel pressure and pain when pushing (more on that later). Dr. Crush explained how an epi works, and why you should feel pelvic pressure and pain even with one. I don't know why I was so numb with kins.

Wednesday 9.28 Nurse D had me use the bedpan before going to sleep or told me I would need a catheter (but that she would like to avoid it). I didn't really care either way, but managed to use the bed pan very successfully. After that, everyone went to bed sometime around midnight. Nurse D said she would come in every 1.5 hours to make sure I was not getting too numb on one side. I don't think I every managed to get 1.5 hours without ringing the call bell. The first time was around 1am. I was just so itchy from the epi I needed something to take the edge off. I got resettled and went to sleep and then was awake around 2 when my water broke! It is a very odd sensation. I could just feel it coming out like pee with every contraction. I woke up hub and mom to tell them, and then called Nurse D. She started smelling all the bedclothes, it was so, so strange. I guess it smells sweet. She wasn't sure that my water broke, but did say that the liquid was clear, a good sign if it was my water (it totally was). I probably went back to sleep around 3 after that episode.

At 5:06am (I took a selfie to document the time) I was awake for the day and feeling pressure, also I was wet with the water. I wanted it to get a bit later so I could call my dad to come over to the hospital if he wanted. About 6, I was bloody so I gave in and called Nurse D in again.  She came in and cleaned me up, as well as confirmed that my water that had broken.  I requested to be checked, but she let me know that the doctor was not yet awake, but should be shortly. I said that I was hoping to get checked so that I could let the family know if we were close to delivery. I also let her know I was feeling pressure. This got her to get a move on. Sure enough, I was a 10 and ready to push! She let me know she could feel a bald baby head! Things were starting to get real. It took some time ready the room and me for birth. The nurse and the intern asked if I needed to pee. How the heck could I know? The nurse said I had used a bedpan earlier in the night so I should be fine.

At about 6:30, they told me to do some practice pushing. I did, and the first one peed all over them. Oops. hub had one leg and nurse D the other. It was a little harder with kins right off the bat. I didn't realize it at the time, but they had hub holding my back with him, helping me to roll up. I liked that better. I also like not being able to feel it because HOLY MOTHER THAT HURT. OUCH.

At one point I requested that hub hold my hand and my mom took my leg. My poor mom. Nurse D would tell me to push and she would push, and the breathe out on the release. I thought she was going to pass out. There was a lot of laughter in the room. Nurse D kept saying how she could see the head, but that made me so distracted I would lose focus on the push. I had to just start ignoring everyone. Nurse D asked if I wanted to feel the head just after the doc arrived. I reached down to feel and just hated it. It felt like a W. Labia, space, head, space, labia. The sensation Of feeling own body, but also having no sensation (since I was touching baby's head was too much. I immediately pulled my hand back and said (hub says yelled) No, no, of gosh I don't like that". Everyone laughed at me. There were a few points where they were like "you can take a break" but I needed to keep pushing. Also, there were times when it hurt SO much I just wanted a break, but the pressure was worse than the push pain. At one point I cried it hurt so badly, the doc laughed and said "oh you're doing it" I guess the head was just about out at that moment. Seconds later the doc told his intern to turn the shoulders and I felt all the pressure release. A few seconds after baby was born, the crying started!

At 7:05 AM the intern said "You have a daughter".

We all cried. I was just in shock.

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
e.e. cummings


  1. Welcome Surya! Glad everything went well with the delivery!

  2. What a beautiful birth story! Thank you for sharing :)